Updated: Kazakhstani rider set to join Astana
The Lampre-ISD team has announced it has reached an agreement with Andrey Kashechkin to immediately rescind his contract with the Italian team and the Kazakhstani has revealed he will immediately join the Astana team and target the Vuelta Epsana.
Kashechkin finished third overall in the 2006 Vuelta Espana when he raced with Alexandre Vinokourov at the Liberty Seguros team. The two rode for the Astana team at the 2007 Tour de France but Vinokourov tested positive for blood doping during the race and Kashechkin failed a blood test a few days later when he was tested out of competition while on holiday in Turkey. He appealed against the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport but lost and served a two-year ban. He was unable to find a team in 2009 after serving his ban but rode for Kazakhstan in the time trial at the world championships in Mendrisio.
The 31-year-old rider joined Lampre-ISD in June last year but has failed to land any significant results. He rode the Vuelta a Pais Vasco, the Tour de Romandie and the Critérium du Dauphiné this year but failed to finish all three races. Yet he hopes to target the top five overall in Spain.
"It's a great day in my cycling career. I really want to return to the Astana team. I am Kazakh and this team is built to represent our nation, and I am proud of my country, that's why it's important to me. There are still points to discuss and I will sign a contract soon with the team. My first race should be the Vuelta Espana, where I target the Top 5 in the overall standings,@ he said.
The Lampre-ISD team wished Kashechkin all the best for the future in a press release but revealed it plans to build its 2012 squad around its three team leaders: Damiano Cunego, Michele Scarponi and Alessandro Petacchi, plus talented young riders such as Giro d’Italia stage winner Diego Ulissi and Italian time trial national champion Adriano Malori.
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